Shippers are beginning to discover they can get from the U.S. to Mexico by water as well as by land.
As trade between the countries grows, liner services are popping up across the Gulf of Mexico. The overwhelming majority of U.S./Mexico traffic still moves overland, but ship and barge connections are taking root.
During the last two years, the U.S./ Mexico trade has attracted new services from familiar names such as Lykes, Hapag-Lloyd, Zim, as well as startups that include Mexican Gulf Line and Protexa Burlington International, a railcar-on-barge venture of Burlington Northern Railroad and Grupo Protexa of Mexico.
The most recent entrant is Crowley American Transport, which announced it would begin weekly service Oct. 6 between Port Everglades and the Mexican ports of Progreso, Veracruz and Tampico. LCL and FCL cargo will be accepted.
The Port of Progreso serves the Yucatan Peninsula, where the provincial government has been advertising availability of $1 -per-hour labor.
For reasons of geography and economics, the water services tend to fall into two categories:
* Short-sea services using small vessels shuttling back and forth across the Gulf, often between a single pair of ports.
* Larger vessels that usually are operated as a segment of a longer route to and from other regions, such as South America or Europe.
New Services. Crowley's new Mexican service will operate weekly, using two 323-TEU-capacity …